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Which Countries Export FDI and How Much?


  • Assaf Razin

    (Tel Aviv University)

  • Yona Rubinstein

    (Tel Aviv University)

  • Efraim Sadka

    (Tel Aviv University)


The paper develops a model with ¡§lumpy¡¨ setup costs, which govern the flow of bilateral foreign direct investment (FDI). Every country is potentially both a source for FDI flows to several host countries, and a host for FDI flows from several source countries. But technologically-advanced countries have a comparative advantage in setting up foreign subsidiaries. Thus, the model generates two-way, rich-rich and rich-poor, FDI flows. We employ a sample of 24 OECD countries, over the period 1981-1998. We observe many pairs of countries with no FDI flows between them. Zero reported flows could indicate either true zeros stemming from marginal productivity conditions, measurment errors, or true zeroes that are due to fixed costs (which dominate marginal productivity conditions). Previous empirical literature on the determinants of FDI flows imposes a no-fixed cost assumption on the estimation procedure (Tobit). In contrast, by employing the Heckman selection procedure, we show that the Tobit restriction is not consistent with the data, and yields biased estimates. Controlling for the selection into source-host pairs of countries, and for time and country fixed effects, we find: (1) FDI flows respond positively to advances in host country level of education relative to the source country level of education, whereas the source-country level of education is a predictor of the formation of source-host country pairs; (2) FDI flows respond positively to improvements in host country financial risk ratings relative to the source country ratings; (3) existence of rich-poor pairs hinge on surpassing an education-income threshold, whereas rich-rich FDI flow volumes depend on education and income levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Assaf Razin & Yona Rubinstein & Efraim Sadka, 2004. "Which Countries Export FDI and How Much?," Working Papers 152004, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:152004

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Mustafa Seref Akin & Valerica Vlad, 2011. "The Relationship between Education and Foreign Direct Investment: Testing the Inverse U Shape," European Journal of Economic and Political Studies, Fatih University, vol. 4(1), pages 27-46.
    2. Vasile Alecsandru STRAT, 2015. "The relationship between the education system and the inflows of FDI for the Central and East European EU new member states," Romanian Journal of Economics, Institute of National Economy, vol. 41(2(50)), pages 76-92, december.
    3. Aisbett, Emma, 2007. "Bilateral Investment Treaties and Foreign Direct Investment: Correlation versus Causation," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt72m4m1r0, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    4. Aizenman, Joshua & Noy, Ilan, 2006. "FDI and trade--Two-way linkages?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 317-337, July.
    5. Kayam, Saime Suna & Hisarciklilar, Mehtap, 2009. "Determinants of Turkish FDI abroad," MPRA Paper 17813, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Joshua Aizenman & Ilan Noy, 2008. "Links between Trade and Finance: A Disaggregated Analysis," NBER Chapters,in: Financial Markets Volatility and Performance in Emerging Markets, pages 9-28 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Kugler, Maurice & Rapoport, Hillel, 2005. "Skilled emigration, business networks and foreign direct investment," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0503, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    8. Escobar Gamboa, Octavio Romano, 2009. "IDE entrants, exportations et productivité manufacturière : les différentes performances des régions mexicaines," Economics Thesis from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University, number 123456789/3850 edited by Guillochon, Bernard, March.
    9. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka, 2004. "Transparency, Specialization and FDI (new title: Corporate Transparency, Cream-Skimming and FDI)," CESifo Working Paper Series 1161, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. Razin, Assaf & Rubinstein, Yona & Sadka, Efraim, 2004. "Fixed Costs and FDI: The Conflicting Effects of Productivity Shocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 4732, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Natalia Ramondo, 2006. "Size, Geography, and Multinational Production," 2006 Meeting Papers 472, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Hijzen, Alexander & Görg, Holger & Manchin, Miriam, 2008. "Cross-border mergers and acquisitions and the role of trade costs," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(5), pages 849-866, July.
    13. Selen Sarisoy Guerin, 2011. "Do the European Union’s Bilateral Investment Treaties Matter? The Way Forward After Lisbon," Chapters,in: The Economic Crisis and European Integration, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    14. Lawless, Martina, 2009. "Tax Complexity and Inward Investment," Research Technical Papers 5/RT/09, Central Bank of Ireland.
    15. Ramondo, Natalia, 2014. "A quantitative approach to multinational production," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 108-122.
    16. Assaf Razin & Efraim Sadka & Hui Tong, 2008. "Bilateral FDI Flows: Threshold Barriers and Productivity Shocks," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 54(3), pages 451-470, September.
    17. Aizenman, Joshua & Noy, Ilan, 2005. "FDI and Trade – Two Way Linkages?," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt301285n0, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    18. Giovanni Pica & José V. Rodríguez Mora, 2005. "FDI, Allocation of Talents and Differences in Regulation," CSEF Working Papers 134, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    19. Alexander Hijzen & Holger Görg & Miriam Manchin, 2006. "Cross-border mergers and acquisitions and the role of trade costs," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 242, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    20. Pica, Giovanni & Rodríguez Mora, José V., 2011. "Who's afraid of a globalized world? Foreign Direct Investments, local knowledge and allocation of talents," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 86-101, September.
    21. Marina Murat & Sara Flisi, 2007. "Migrant Business Networks and FDI," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 002, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
    22. Kugler, Maurice & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "International labor and capital flows: Complements or substitutes?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 155-162, February.
    23. Maurice Kugler & Hillel Rapoport, 2005. "Skilled Emigration, Business Networks and Foreign Direct Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1455, CESifo Group Munich.
    24. Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 2007. "Corporate transparency, cream-skimming and FDI," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1263-1276, July.
    25. Octavio Escobar, 2011. "The location pattern of FDI in Mexico after NAFTA," ERSA conference papers ersa10p804, European Regional Science Association.

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    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F30 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - General


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